Did you watch the launch?

I couldn’t help myself marveling at the scene. The first spacecraft made by Israeli scientists, sitting on top of a SpaceX rocket, about to head to the moon.

With a fiery force, the “Beresheet” moon lander started its long journey. In seven weeks, this special spacecraft will land on the moon and make history. In launching yesterday, it not only became the first Israeli spacecraft to venture beyond Earth's orbit, but also the first-ever privately funded moon mission.

The scientists spent a long time thinking of each detail. They chose the name “Beresheet,” the first word of the Torah, which describes the creation of the world. They view their mission as a true beginning, pioneering and paving the way for many missions to follow.

They also emblazoned the sentence “Am Yisrael Chai” on the craft. The Jewish people are here to stay.

But I bet even they didn’t realize the symbolism in the timing of the launch.

You see, look at the name of this week’s Torah portion: Ki Tisa. Tisa can be translated as “raising,” “lifting up,” and “reaching higher.”

That’s exactly what SpaceIL did.

It’s interesting to see how we humans are obsessed with space. It’s not like we finished figuring out everything on Planet Earth, but we are always trying to understand and know what’s above us.

The Rebbe once quoted the following Chassidic teaching: “The kindness and special quality in G‑d's making man upright, to walk erectly, is that though he walks on the earth he sees the Heavens; not so with beasts that go on all fours; they see only the earth.”

I bet animals don’t care to know what’s in space. Water on Mars? Living organism on the dark side of the moon? These questions simply don’t occupy the animals’ minds.

But G‑d gave us that ability and desire to know, the aspiration to reach to the heavens.

Not only the physical heavens.

The spiritual ones too.

He embedded in us the constant desire not to be satisfied with a materialistic life, but to look for the inner meaning in everything that we do. And when we look for it, we find it.

Perhaps that’s why SpaceIL named their spacecraft Beresheet.

Because the next two words of the verse are bara Elokim, “G‑d had created.”

When we are ready to ascend, willing to have the courage and to reach to the heavens, we will find Him – right here with us on earth.